North Carolina To Launch Medicaid Expansion In December

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced that the Department of Health and Human Services will launch Medicaid expansion in the state on December 1.

“Finally expanding Medicaid in North Carolina is a monumental achievement that will extend health insurance to people who need it,” said Governor Cooper. “This means better health care, including those with mental health and substance use disorders, hope for rural hospitals struggling to stay open and billions of dollars for our economy. This action is long overdue, and we aren’t wasting a moment in beginning enrollment in North Carolina.”

On Friday, Governor Cooper announced that he would allow the state budget passed by the General Assembly to become law and directed NCDHHS to immediately begin the process to start Medicaid expansion in North Carolina.

Even while the budget stalled in the state legislature, NCDHHS worked with county and community partners to be ready to launch so people could get the care they desperately needed as soon as possible. On Friday, Governor Cooper and NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley spoke with federal leaders of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services about the urgent need to begin enrollment.

“This work will yield results,” Governor Cooper said.

The Department said it anticipates approximately 300,000 eligible people currently receiving Medicaid Family Planning benefits will automatically be enrolled in full health care coverage on December 1.

“More than 600,000 people in North Carolina will get the health care coverage they have been waiting for,” according to Kinsley.

Medicaid Expansion increases the eligible population to adults aged 19-64 who have incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. For example, expansion gives health care coverage to single individuals making under $20,000 a year. Likewise, a family of three earning under $34,000 combined will now be eligible. Beneficiaries will get care the same way as existing Medicaid beneficiaries and be eligible for the same comprehensive benefits and copays as other non-disabled adults in Medicaid.

North Carolina is one of 41 states that has expanded Medicaid since it was authorized in 2014, though state legislators delayed enrollment until passage of the state budget.

President Joe Biden applauded Governor Cooper and the bipartisan elected officials who have made North Carolina the 40th state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The expansion will also benefit rural hospitals across the state and invest in critical mental health resources. I commend Governor Cooper for his years of leadership fighting to get this monumental step forward for North Carolina families done. Biden urged leaders, especially those in states who have not yet expanded Medicaid, to do so.

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